Background: The combination of fludarabine (Flu), high-dose cytarabine (Ara-C) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF; FLAG), with anthracyclines has become standard chemotherapy for refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in European children and adults. To clarify the efficacy and the safety of FLAG-idarubicin (IDA) for children prospectively, we planned a multicenter phase II study (AML-R11) by the Japanese Pediatric Leukemia/Lymphoma Study Group. Methods: Patients with AML aged between 2 and 20 years old, who had the first bone marrow (BM) relapse or induction failure, were enrolled. The FLAG-IDA regimen consisted of Flu 30 mg/m2 for 5 days, Ara-C 2 g/m2 for 5 days, G-CSF (lenograstim) 5 μg/kg for 6 days and IDA 10 mg/m2 for 3 days. The primary endpoint was remission rate after therapy. Results: Due to drug supply issues, the trial was suspended after the inclusion of seven eligible patients. There were six cases of early relapse within 1 year of the first remission. All seven patients completed the therapy and no early death was observed. Hematological toxicity was common, and one patient developed grade 4 non-hematological toxicity of bacterial meningitis. Although only one patient with late relapse achieved complete remission, minimal residual disease was positive on both flow cytometry and Wilms’ tumor 1 mRNA. Two patients were alive in remission following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, whereas the other five patients died of either the disease or treatment-related causes. Conclusion: FLAG-IDA might be tolerable for children with refractory AML although the efficacy should be further investigated.
- acute myeloid leukemia
- minimal residual disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health